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4A Florida State Championship: Raines Rallies Late and Holds of Cocoa

ORLANDO– After controlling the Florida 4A State Championship game only to relinquish the lead in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville Raines’ quarterback Ivory Durham IV found wide out Kamarree Noble in the end zone the go ahead score and 13-10 victory over defending champion, Cocoa.

Durham was the games star, he finished 14 for 25 passing with a touchdown and an interception and 59 yards rushing. Junior running back, Brandon Marshall finished with 149 yards rushing and a score.

Raines got on the board first after absolutely dominating the first half of the game that was riddled with penalties and mistakes by Cocoa. As a defending champion, the Tigers were a run first team and everyone expected them to come in and try to force their will on the ground against the Raines Vikings.

That didn’t happen.

Through three quarters, Raines had only surrendered 28 net rushing yards to Cocoa while amassing 150 on the ground themselves.  Those totals were thanks in large part to Brandon Marshall,  who showed tons of pop and speed all game long until he exited in the middle of the fourth quarter.

Just before his exit, Cocoa had scored to take a 10-6 lead early in the fourth quarter. They did so behind the strong running of Willie Gaines, the junior tailback. Gaines had a 33 yard rush from the Raines 40 yard line to create first and goal from the Raines 7 yard line.  He would score a touchdown two plays later.

But that’s when Durham took over for good.  He lead his team on a 14 play drive that culminated in the passing score to Noble.  During the drive he had a big 39 yard rush on 3 and 11 from his own 17 yard line.  After the game he was calm about his performance and explained:

That’s what winners do, they win. -Ivory ‘HJ’ Durham, quarterback Raines High

About Brandon Odoi

Brandon Odoi is a tenured journalist. He's covered youth football since 8th grade, high school football since 2009 and began covering college football in 2011 as a beat writer for the University of Miami Athletic programs. In 2011, he founded Football Hotbed a national multi-media platform for football across the country. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and spent his first five years as a professional working at ABC Television Network, ending his career as a producer in Miami. He's married with two sons and resides in South Florida.

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